Cowes - Stony Point Car Ferry - Letter to State Government /Media Release

The Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) submitted to the Bass Coast Shire Council that it considers a car ferry is not appropriate for Phillip Island.

PICS supports the marketing of the existing Victorian coastal touring route, enhancing existing transport infrastructure including the passenger ferry, the Cowes Jetty and supporting local tourism businesses to supply experiences and transport to passenger ferry visitors.

PICS consider the business case for a car ferry to Phillip Island is fundamentally flawed.

The Bass Coast Shire Council voted on 18 April 2018 to defer their consideration of the Stony Point Cowes car ferry business case until consideration has been given to investigating the Cowes Jetty site.

PICS has sent an open letter to the Premier The Hon Daniel Andrews, Minister for Regional Development The Hon Jaala Pulford and Minister for Tourism and Major events The Hon John Eren.

PICS urges the Government to reject Council request for funds to investigate the Cowes jetty location

“A car ferry terminal at the Cowes jetty will reduce visitor amenity by reintroducing cars to the northfacing Cowes foreshore just as the Council has sought to remove them with the jetty triangle redevelopment. “ stated Anne Davie
PICS considers further reliance on the car ferry business case is “throwing good money after bad.”
“PICS has serious concerns with the business case including unlikely viability, very poor time savings, unrealistic demand modelling, overstatement of economic and social benefits, understatement of social costs and omission of key environmental risks stated Anne Davie. These problems remain for the car ferry at any location on Phillip Island”. Anne added

Media Contact: Jeff Nottle PICS Vice President 0419 158 232- Anne Davie PICS President 0439 559 172


Preserve Western Port Action Group presents to State’s port Inquiry

The Preserve Western Port Action Group accepted the invitation last Wednesday to appearand present to the Victorian Government Select Committee Inquiry into the proposed lease of the Port of Melbourne.

A select committee of eight members have been appointed to inquire into, and report on, the potential outcomes of leasing Melbourne’s current container port. The legislation is currently before the Parliament.

“Our interest centres around the potential impacts of the proposed lease on the development of a second container port In Hastings.” Chairman of Preserve Western Port Action Group,

Jeff Nottle said.

“Stopping the construction of a huge container port and the associated industrial development in beautiful Western Port has been the focus of our mainly Phillip Island based group of volunteers for the past 18 months.” Mr Nottle stated.

“It was an excellent opportunity to inform the politicians of Spring St of the importance of Western Port as a unique and fragile marine ecosystem, a nature-based tourism asset and amuch loved holiday and fishing area.”

“Importantly, it was made clear to the Select Committee that Western Port and Hastings are not the natural deep water port that many politicians have been espousing and a container port will have serious adverse impacts to the Phillip Island economy and environment.”

“It was such a boost for our cause to present our views on Western Port directly to the politicians and have it recorded in Hansard.” Mr Nottle said.

The reporting date for this inquiry is 30 November 2015.

Vote for the Candidates that want to Protect Westernport - Your Guide

We have signs all over town and because we are not affiliated with a political party we are asking that people question the candidates and their representatives at the polling booth.  In the seat of Bass which stretches from Phillip Island to Pakenham the candidates that are strongly against the Port of Hastings Developments are;

Ross Fairhurst -     GREENS - NO TO THE PORT,


Sanjay Nathan Labor are not clear but say they prefer Bay West LABOR   - UNDECIDED

 Liberal party want to get going on it straight away LIBERAL  - YES TO THE PORT

So there you go. We ask that you choose the candidates that say NO TO THE PORT and want to preserve Westernport and support local eco tourism, fishing and boating and the environment. It is so important.


Early voting is available at Shop 2/15 Warley Avenue, Cowes (opposite Uniting Church)

Voting Centres in Bass are located at Bass Valley Community Centre, Bayles Hall - KooWeeRup,Cape Paterson Community Hall, Catani Recreation Reserve, Clyde Primary School,Corinella Public Hall,Cowes Primary School,Powlett River Primary School, Grantville Hall,Inverloch Community Hub, Kilcunda Community Centre,Lakeside Lutheran College Pakenham,Lang Lang Primary School,Newhaven Community Hall, Pakenham Secondary College,Pakenham Uniting Church Hall,Pakenham Lakeside Primary School,Pakenham Springs Primary School, Rhyll Mechanics Hall,San Remo Recreation Centre,Wonthaggi Town Hall, Wonthaggi North Primary School. For more information visit vote.vec.vic.gov.au


Port Authority Information Shut Down

Port of Hastings Information Shutdown Scuttles Planning Panels Victoria C82 Hearing

The Port of Hasting Development Authority has gone into information shutdown on key information on the planned development of an international container terminal at Hastings.

The Port Authority is publicly not advising the location of the planned container terminal and wharf in the special use zone or declared port area and hence the amount of dredging required or where spoil will be dumped. Further information not being released includes the extent of restrictions on boating in Westernport.

The proposed dredging for the container terminal is critical and will have an adverse impact on Westernport’s coastal erosion and sea water inundation as the tides increase in speed and mud flats are removed. This will have a significant adverse effect on the Westernport coastline particularly to the north of Westernport and French island and the north Shore of Phillip Island.

In preparing the C82 planning amendment Council asked the Port Authority of the extent of proposed dredging and details of their hydrodynamic modeling. The Port Authority advised Council on 2 June 2014 that “At this point in time, we do not have sufficient information to contribute a submission on this matter...”

The issue was highlighted at the C82 Planning Panels Victoria hearing. Jeff Nottle Chairman of the Preserve Western Port Action Group advised the hearing on 9 October 2014 that the lack of response by the Port of Hastings will prevent the Planning Panels or Council setting an appropriate overlay. Jeff stated that the lack of response from the Port Authority will mean that the Panel Report will be obsolete before it is implemented. The Panel indicated that the inquiry and public hearings may need to be held again when the Port of Hastings information is provided.

Jeff Nottle presented to Planning Panels the Victorian University Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics report of 26 August 2014 which states dredging for the Port of Hastings would remove approximately 6 million cubic metres of spoil in the approach channels and 18 million cubic meters for a berthing pocket bringing the total to about 24 million cubic meters excluding the dredging required for the anchorage area off the north shore of Phillip Island.

It is incredible that the dredging and hydrodynamic modeling is not being presented to Planning Panels Victoria despite the amount of hydrodynamic modeling undertaking he stated. The Port of Hastings Annual Report for 2012/13 shows expenditure to 30 June 2013 of $240,432 on consultancy services for hydrodynamics with planned further expenditure of $139,888 from that date.

Residents, ratepayers and Councils whose coastlines will be affected by the proposed dredging should not have these extra costs and uncertainties imposed on them due to the hydrodynamic modeling not being made available by the Port of Hastings to Planning Panels Victoria.

The C82 amendment has been a difficult issue for residents, ratepayers, Council and other stakeholders. The Port of Hastings information shutdown will cause further community concerns.

Further information shutdown is evident with the Port of Hastings responses to their token community information sessions PORTicipate.


Well meaning community members have been working hard to assist the Port of Hastings in their quarterly meetings. The Port Authority responds to community concerns with comments that the Port Authority will provide further details and updates at next meetings.

With the next meeting due in November the community members are not receiving critical information despite their assistance to the Port Authority.

The current Port Authority Information Sessions being held in the region are merely an opportunity to display colorful posters and ariel photographs. The large numbers of Port Authority staff are pleasant yet highly rehearsed in their non disclosure of key information.

The Preserve Western Port Action Group calls on the Port Authority to stop the information shutdown and be transparent with the community. We demand better accountability and transparency on their use of $110 M of taxpayers’ money. Key questions are being asked and the Port Authority should be providing answers.

Media Contact; Jeff Nottle 0419 158 232 

The Great Debate - Hastings Community Hub

Last night a moderated debate took place between Ports Minister David Hodgett and Shadow Ports Minister Natalie Hutchins at the Hastings Community Hub.  What has become clear is the lack of transparency on the part of government on the entire development. We need to start asking more questions.  The dredging issue is of main concern. Here are some links to the video of the discussion for those who could not make it. Thank you to the Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc for providing the videos. Westernport is NOT a natural deep water port. The dredging required will significantly effect the natural environment.